Top of the world, ma? The Venice film festival has opened with the true story of an attempt on the summit of Mount Everest in 1996, directed by Baltasar Kormákur who made the action-thrillers Contraband and 2 Guns. It’s a disaster movie that isn’t a total success. Everest is an oddly subdued drama with plenty of ice, snow, beards, mountains, men shouting desperate instructions at each other through their snowy beards, above the deafening high winds. There’s a bit of don’t-look-down vertigo as our climbing heroes are expected to cross crevasses using ladders they appear to have bought from B&Q. And all the while the tremulous womenfolk are pining and whining on the end of a radio receiver or telephone while the heroic guys battle the elements. In narrative terms it’s messy – as true stories tend to be. The dramatic focus is split between around half a dozen characters based on real people and it’s not clear who we should root for, or why, or why exactly this particular expedition went as wrong as it did compared to all the others. Weather considerations mean that each character tends to have a great big furry hood, reflecting sunglasses and beard,… Read full this story
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